United arrives in Ghana, new daily South Africa flight launches soon

May 17, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

United just added another popular African city to its long-haul route map!

On Friday, the carrier began year-round service between Washington, D.C. (IAD) and Accra, Ghana (ACC). United 996 departs IAD at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, returning at 11:45 p.m. as United 997 the following day.

It’s the first of two routes the airline plans to launch this spring to fill a gap left by South African Airways, which has long struggled to turn a profit and was forced to begin scaling back its global operations even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

United vice president of international network planning and alliances Patrick Quayle was among the passengers on Friday’s first flight to ACC, which was operated by a 787-8 Dreamliner with 28 Polaris business seats, 21 Premium Plus seats, 36 in Economy Plus and 158 seats in coach.

Polaris passengers received special ACC pajamas, as modeled by United’s Patrick Quayle. (Photo courtesy of United)

The aircraft was met with a ceremonial water cannon salute after touching down just after 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning in Ghana.

United’s 787-9 received a water cannon salute upon arrival at ACC. (Photo courtesy of United)

On June 3, United is scheduled to begin daily service between Newark (EWR) and Johannesburg (JNB), its second nonstop flight to South Africa from the New York City area. United began seasonal service to Cape Town (CPT) in December 2019 — as of now, that flight is scheduled to return on Oct. 31, 2021.

United’s Accra and Johannesburg flights are both guaranteed to be operated by the carrier’s updated 787 Dreamliners, offering extra-private Polaris business-class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, along with dedicated Premium Plus cabins.

United’s Polaris business cabin on the 787-9. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

While South African’s exit is likely a disappointment to some, United acted quickly to help bridge a gap in service, offering a superior product, to boot.

United’s business class represents a step up, even compared with South African’s very best product, pictured here. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

There’s more to come on the Africa front as well, with another IAD flight expected to begin later this year. United is scheduled to fly between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria (LOS) sometime in 2021, though the airline has yet to begin selling seats, or confirm a launch date.

Featured photo courtesy of United Airlines

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.